Opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives are urging President Bola Tinubu to prioritize the security of lives and property, surpassing the measures taken during the previous administration led by Muhammadu Buhari.
During Buhari’s tenure, Nigeria grappled with heightened insurgency, kidnapping, and various criminal activities, prompting multiple international travel advisories cautioning citizens to avoid troubled areas in the country.
Since Tinubu assumed the presidency, there has been a concerning surge in kidnapping for ransom, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, prompting widespread calls for the Minister, Nyesom Wike, to enhance security measures in the territory.
Expressing his concerns, Oluwole Oke, a member of the House and Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, emphasized that while insecurity is not unique to Nigeria, the situation in the country has become increasingly troubling for those who wish the nation well.
Oke, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, highlighted the need for President Tinubu’s administration to address the manpower shortage within various security agencies. In a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, Oke stated, “There are a lot of things this government can do better than the previous administration. We are not the first to experience this kind of situation.”
He suggested a comprehensive approach, emphasizing the importance of massive recruitment within the armed forces, paramilitary institutions, and intelligence communities. Oke proposed the recruitment of up to 500,000 youths in larger states and 100,000 in smaller states, emphasizing the need for intensive training, arming, and deployment to strategic locations.
While acknowledging the financial implications of these recommendations, Oke urged the Tinubu-led government not to shy away from its primary responsibility to Nigerian citizens, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Gbefwi Jonathan, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party and member representing Karu/Keffi/Kokona Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State, echoed the urgency of the situation, urging the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security. Jonathan emphasized that “without adequate security, no meaningful development will take place.”
As the nation grapples with these pressing security challenges, the call for swift and decisive action resonates across party lines, emphasizing the need for a united front in addressing the escalating security concerns facing Nigeria.